What is in fracking fluid?
“When conducted properly, fracking is a safe and strategic operation that is rapidly expanding the world’s access to natural gas,” said Methanol Institute Executive Director Gregory Dolan on the topic of fracking fluids. “Methanol is a biodegradable chemical and an essential component in the fracking process that for all practical purposes poses no risk.”
What chemicals are used in fracking?
Many people worried about what chemicals are used in fracking cite the potential danger of a hypothetical scenario wherein fluids leaking into the groundwater as the primary reason for their concern. However, there are many misconceptions about what is fracking water and how it is collected and disposed of after it has been pumped into the shale to release natural gas trapped inside.
What is fracking water?
Once the fracturing process is over, the water rises back to the surface, forced upward by the geologic formation’s pressure, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Then, the fluids are stored in pits or tanks to be treated – if the water is to be discharged into surface water – or is injected deep underground. Both options are regulated by EPA departments, and many states are working to revise or create their own laws overseeing gas drilling operations in their areas.
A 2004 study from the EPA investigating the environmental impact of disposing what chemicals are used in fracking into coalbed methane production wells found no confirmed cases of drinking water wells’ quality being compromised as a result.
“Where fluids are injected, EPA believes that groundwater production, combined with mitigating effects of dilution and dispersion, absorption, and biodegradation, minimize the possibility that chemicals included in fracturing fluids would adversely affect [underground sources of drinking water],” the study noted.
What is hydraulic fracking?
As The Associated Press reported in August, one Halliburton executive drank a new recipe for hydraulic fracking fluid at a conference by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. The intent was to quash fears about what is hydraulic fracking and the chemicals that are used – Halliburton’s development uses food industry materials – by showing how safe they can be.
“The thing I took away is the industry is stepping up to plate and taking these concerns seriously,” Ken Carlson, a Colorado State University environmental engineering professor, told the AP. “Halliburton is showing they can get the same economic benefits or close to that by putting a little effort into reformulating the fluids.”